Board Members

The governing board of Volunteering NZ

Helga Wientjes
What matters most to members
Tania Jones
Vice Chairperson
Brayden Smith
Corrine Coombe
Board Member
Cathy Aiavao
Board Member – Pacific Peoples
Wendy Rapana
Board Member – Māori
Gail Marshall
Board Member
James Lord
Board Member

Staff & Volunteers

The operations team of Volunteering NZ

Michelle Kitney

General Manager

Michelle leads people, content and campaigns at VNZ. She also delivers key strategic projects including VNZ’s roll out of a National qualification for volunteer managers, VNZ Migrant Volunteering Programme and the 2018 Pivot Conference.

Michelle brings a range of experience including marketing and community engagement, volunteer leadership, public sector experience, and legal publishing. She also has governance experience and has led a local membership organisation.

Taylor Hamling

Web Developer

Taylor is the web developer for VNZ working on the VNZ website, InvolveMe, Student Volunteer Week, National Volunteer Week, the annual VNZ conference and many more projects. Taylor is a professional freelancer with a degree in Computer Science. Taylor’s website:

Nick Havell

Assistant Accountant

Nick is our volunteer Assistant Accountant. He completed his Bachelor of Applied Management majoring in accounting in 2016. Nick is also studying the CPA Australia program and is aspiring to be a Financial Accountant.

Ross Patel

Governance Advisor

Ross is currently completing his Masters in Experience and Service Design specialising in youth engagement with Non-profit organisations. When Ross is not thinking of ways Volunteer-Centre organisations can engage more people in volunteering in their communities, he is volunteering his skills in community projects such as the Youth Aotea-Reo Project – developing an app for New Zealand youth which aims to provide youth support services in a more convenient way. Ross is also the President of the Multicultural New Zealand Youth Council.

Sarah Macdonald

Marketing and Communications Advisor

Sarah works on content creation (web and social media), marketing strategy and campaigns (including National Volunteer Week). Sarah’s experience as a documentary photographer and digital marketer for various charities has allowed for first-hand experience in the sector. Sarah has a Bachelor of Design (Hons) and a Diploma in Marketing.

Anna Rendall

Graphic Designer
Anna is our in-house graphic designer who has communications experience thrown into the mix. She brings the creative, design eye to the team and helps maintain visual identity at VNZ.  
Anna also works on freelance design projects and volunteers as designer and event coordinator with a local community organisation. Anna has Bachelor of Visual communication Design (hons) with a typography major. She’s also a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) and has worked towards papers in communications and public relations.

Erina Papp

National Learning and Development Manager

Erina Papp is an experienced organisational development and HR professional with a focus on engaging others to achieve results and turn vision into reality. She brings a unique mix of in-depth HR and senior management experience, coaching, counselling and community development expertise enable her to work with people to address both business and interpersonal challenges.

Amelia Blamey

Community Engagement Advisor

Amelia is studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce, with majors in Finance and Marketing, and minor in Film. She hopes to use her passion for storytelling to raise awareness and encourage activism in her community.

Christina Ward

Membership Administrator

Christina is the professional development and membership administrator, part-time while she completes her BA Business at Massey University.  Her background is in office administration and has participated in the WW1 diary digitisation volunteer project for the UK National Archives, before returning to New Zealand with her young family.

Lucas Davies


Lucas is writing a series of blog posts and articles for Volunteering New Zealand, with a focus on research articles. In 2016, he completed his Bachelor of Laws, and has since worked in the field of public and immigration law. Lucas enjoys reading, dancing, chess, and a good debate with his friends over the bar table.

Felipe Escobar

Web advisor

Felipe brings a wealth of experience in analysis, modelling and implementation of technical solutions with strong focus in adding value to organisational strategy. At VNZ Felipe’s been instrumental in delivering the 2018 Student Volunteer Week and the InvolveMe landing page/promotion website design. He provides ongoing technical support and advice around gathering requirements, designing and developing reports, dashboards and websites.

Charlie Pearson

Communications Advisor

Charlie is the communications advisor for VNZ creating media releases, online content, and editing
and writing other communications materials. He also worked on the development of LeadMe and
was the editor of the State of Volunteering Report 2017. Charlie completed a degree in
Communications, majoring in marketing, in 2017.

Richa Kohli

Marketing and Communications Advisor

Richa has recently completed her Master of Communication Management and is keen to explore the dynamic potential of the field in breaking the status quo and engaging people. She is currently working towards implementing VNZ’s vision and strategy for the InvolveMe tool.